Archive for June, 2018

Venue of the Week: The University Club of Chicago

Wednesday, June 27th, 2018

Are you in need of some advice for the perfect venue to host your event at in the Chicago land area? Well, that’s why I’m here! Exquisite Designs has worked with some of the most beautiful, tasteful, and classic venues in this world class city.

For the next couple of blog posts, I will be featuring one venue per week. This week I’m going to start off with the University Club of Chicago. This beautiful venue is located on the vibrant streets of Michigan Avenue & Monroe street in downtown Chicago. Just minutes away from Millennium Park and the exciting shopping stores aligned on Michigan Avenue.

How do you know if this venue is right for you? Well, this over a century year old building is best known for it’s historical and old world feel along with being filled with impeccable detail in every corner. So, if you are looking for a venue that contains a one of a kind design all around, and a lot of history – this is definitely a place worth checking out for your big event!

Below are a couple of pictures from a lovely wedding Exquisite Designs had the honor of taking part in. Enjoy & feel free to call our studio with any questions or inspiration. We look forward to hearing from you!

The University Club of Chicago The University Club of Chicago

↑ University Club of Chicago ↑ Amanda Megan Miller Photography ↑

5 Reasons to Schedule a Walk Through

Wednesday, June 20th, 2018

Why schedule a walk through with your event planner and/or event designer? It’s a time to literally walk through the space where the guests would be coming, trouble shoot the plans that could work, and a time for the caterer, venue coordinator, and event designers to come together to achieve one goal. Walk throughs are important, because it will help ease up your stress on the day of your event. It’s also a good way to make your final decisions on guest counts. We will study the venue inside and out, know where to place things, and become knowledgable on the important steps we will need to take on hour by hour. This is also important to have, because it helps lead OUR team in the right direction for the day of the event.

1. Always bring a notebook – that is a must! You will definitely want to write down any new details that the venue coordinator stresses to you. You should also write down any questions or concerns and present them the day of your walk through. Communication is key and this would be the time to get out all of you questions, concerns, and preferences on what you’re envisioning!

2. Keep in mind a walk through is usually scheduled a month prior the event and might last anywhere from a half hour to an hour – depending on how big the venue is and how many questions and concerns need to be worked out. There’s no rush, your event stylist will want to make sure everything is all set in place as well.

3. If this walk through is wedding based – this is also the time to decide where you would want your cocktail hour and what size tables would fit best. Also, if you need to flip the room from ceremony to reception, deciding where to place storage, the direction of your aisle, location of head table is super important to go through with both the venue coordinator and event designer.

4. One of the most important details to lock down is to study the venue. Meaning, the measurements and dimensions you will need in order to fill the space. If you want a huge arch, center pieces, or bigger tables, now is the time to discover and decide all of those details.

5. LOGISTICS! You will 100% want to discuss the timing of the set up. Here are a few important questions to discuss:

- When would be a good time for your vendors to load in?

- You will want to schedule different load in times for your vendors, if everyone comes at once it will be too chaotic!

- This is important for the vendors; talk about what physically works and fits. Ex: will that 8 foot bar fit in the elevators? Now is the time to discuss those issues.

- If ordering linens, will everything be placed by the catering staff or will your event designer and their team have to set those up prior to everything else?

Remember, the outcome of a walk through can only help you and make your event more successful along with taking a bit of stress off for your big event.

Below are some pictures of before and after shots of the two venues we love to work with!

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↑ Chez Event Space ↑

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The University Club of Chicago ↑

Everybody Loves a Mock Up!

Wednesday, June 13th, 2018

Happy Wednesday to my fellow Chicagoans!

Since it’s summer season and events are popping up left and right in the city of Chicago, that also means that it’s Mock Up season!

After you have envisioned what you truly want for your event – colors, linens, vases, candles picked out, it never hurts to schedule a mock up and a chance for you to come into our design studio to allow your mental visualization to come to life. This creates a chance to grow a more collaborative effort and relationship between the clients and event stylists.

Here is how a mock up works: After months of planning your event together, after you sign a contract and you ask yourself – what is the next step? A mock up is order! We put together a proposal and in this important document we list all of the types of flowers, and flower arrangements you wish to have at your event. Along with the different types of candles, votives, and vases that goes well with your flower arrangements. It’s also a great opportunity to measure out the scales of each table setting; see what fits best! Do you want taller or shorter vases?  Are the candles too close together, or do you want only clear glass vases instead of gold? This is the perfect time to figure out all of the logistics! For each section of the venue, I’m sure you have an idea of how you would want a table setting to look like. When it comes time to do a mock up, Exquisite Designs has the pleasure of putting together what that table you have been dreaming about day and night would look like!

What we would like to gain in doing a mock through is to see if the clients vision matches ours.  If not, we could make changes regarding the flower arrangements, colors, and table settings. Having a mock up can truly benefit both the event stylist and client, we want to be able to get it right and exceed your expectations.

Improving the designs for our client’s event is the main reason to host a Mock Up, and if our client is happy, that makes us happier.

Below are some pictures of Mock Ups we’ve held in our lovely studio. Feel free to give us a call if you would like more information or have some inspiring ideas!






Feeling Trendy? (And a Little Daring?) Darker Linens are for YOU!

Wednesday, June 6th, 2018

If you’re looking to be on TREND with your big wedding and/or event:

Do you have a Fall or Winter event coming up? Warm things up with a velvet linen feel or a warm champagne tone. (Since it’s basically winter 9 months out of the year in Chicago.) Rich linen tones scream moody!

If your flowers are more on the dark side such as; reds, black cherry, and a lot of violet then it would be best to go with a moody blue vibe.

It is our job to help and remind you that deciding on linens is a huge decor decision and should not be over looked. Don’t be afraid to mix and match with colors! Your special day is all about what you and your partner envision. After all, Chicago is full of vibrant fun and creativity!

Also, don’t stray away from patterns and prints, not every table linen has to be with a pattern and print design, it’s all about the variation that can mix in really well and compliment your center pieces or the color of the flowers. Half the tables in the room can be with patterned linens and the other half can stay plain, sweet, and simple.

Another important advice! Do not use expensive linens everywhere, the best places to have them would be the head table or sweet heart table, escort card table, etc. Use them where the statement pieces will be placed and where a lot of the pictures will be taken.

Need inspiration? Give us a call at our studio or follow the BBJ instagram account for some great pictures to reference from.

Take a look at some of the work we have done in some of the most beautiful venues in the Chicago land area!

W CIty Center Hotel with Rich Red Flower Tones and Dark Linen

↑ Sarah Postma Photography  ↑

W City Center hotel - Bright Red, White Cake with Dark Linen Tone

↑ Sarah Postma Photography  ↑

Morton Aboretum- Various Blue Tones with touches of Light flowers

↑ Artiste Photography  ↑

Linens, Linens, Linens!

Friday, June 1st, 2018

Want to keep things light and bright for your Chicago spring and summer time classic feel event? Then this is the blog post for you, especially if you already have your flowers and center pieces picked out and are a little lost on which linens to choose from. More so than not – linens aren’t usually the first thing that come to mind when planning the decor for your reception or big corporate party. However, it is one important detail you do not want to over look, because believe it or not, it can make a huge difference in the outcome. (Especially for pictures!) Linens are the most inexpensive way to change the look of a room.

You may not realize it now, but deciding on your linens is very crucial when it comes to start planning your reception or corporate event. Again, if you are leaning more towards a spring and summer time wedding, I have a few tips and tricks up my sleeve to share with you.

Are your flowers more on the lighter and brighter side? If they are white, blush, ivory, or a light yellow then you may want to go with a linen that that has some designs, sparkle, small patterns to make your flowers pop as well. If your wedding is going to be held in the spring time, then you may want to consider having a light green, pale blue, or a plain sheer overlay colored linen that could be on more of a light champagne side. Lighter and brighter colored linens can brighten the room as well.

For example, going ivory or white is always a safe choice, it will make your flowers stand out and most guests attention are drawn to the center pieces anyway. Suggested colors would be lilac purple, blush pink, or even a gold linen!


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Dabble Me this Photography  ↑

White and Green Wedding at University Club - Michigan Room

Cristina G Photography  ↑

White and Blush Floral paried with white linen - University Club Cathedral Hall

Amanada Meg Miller Photography  ↑

Look out soon for our second edition post about Linens if you want to stay on trend!